Monday, May 31, 2010

Tea party could add to Republicans' numbers in Congress but shake up their unity

News flash (not): All over the country, tea-party-backed candidates are winning. Ophthalmologist Rand Paul's sweeping victory in Kentucky's Senate primary was the flagship "W" for the nascent movement. But Idaho state Rep. Raul Labrador's win last Tuesday in a House primary and the rapid rise of former Nevada assemblywoman Sharron Angle in that state's Senate race signal that the movement is backing up its big talk with action. (Most neutral observers think Angle will win the primary on June 8.) While that story line has received lots of ink and air time since Paul's victory on May 18, significantly less attention has been paid to the "What now?" element of the Paul and Labrador wins. As in: What happens if the next Senate includes such names as Paul, Angle and Ken Buck -- the Weld County prosecutor who is running in Colorado? What we know: If any or all of the tea party candidates are elected this fall, they will join a broadened group of Republican senators. Currently holding 41 seats, the GOP is well positioned to win seats being vacated by Democrats in North Dakota, Delaware, Illinois and Indiana. Most neutral observers expect the GOP to gain at least four seats in November; eight seats is generally regarded as the ceiling...more

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Obama: Slowly but Surely Stealing our Retirement Savings

How do you get Americans to buy lots of Treasury Bonds? We have deficits as far into the future as the eye can see. Someone, somewhere, has to keep buying the debt so that no politician ever has to feel a cold wind around his reelection prospects. Not everyone in government is actually a fool (it’s the elected part where incidence is higher than that in the general population, not the bureaucracy) so they’ve noted that there’s a few trillion dollars in the 401(k) accounts of the nation. So how can we get that money “invested” in Treasury Bonds rather than in something productive? We can’t force people to do it, that would cause a revolution, despite what some people think is being mooted. We also cannot fool the people as others seem to think will happen. So we’re not going to confiscate the 401(k)s in return for a federal pension, nor are we going fool people into thinking that such would be a good idea. What we’re going to do is to make everyone want to buy Treasury Bonds with their hard-earned pension savings. We’ll start with a note in the Federal Register. Much wise chin-stroking about how not enough people convert their capital into annuities as they age. I can tell you how the next stages go because this is what has been done in my native Britain over the past 15 years or so. Bring in a rule that the majority (75 percent in the UK) of pension savings must be converted to an annuity by a certain age (75 years). Annuities are of course sold by insurance companies and the like, separately, and a few years apart so that no one really notices. Then change the rules on what said companies selling annuities can use to fund them. Instead of the long sufficient mix of a broad range of financial instruments, insist that they use bonds matching the expected payout maturities of the annuities. Then, again a little later, slip in an insistence that the bonds being used must be safe. Triple A, “AAA” for example...more

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The War Over America’s Past

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”That was the slogan of the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s 1984, where Winston Smith worked ceaselessly revising the past to conform to the latest party line of Big Brother. And so we come to the battle over history books in the schools of Texas. Liberals are enraged that a Republican-dominated Board of Education is rewriting the texts. But is the rewrite being done to falsify history, or to undo a liberal bias embedded for decades? Consider a few of the issues. The new texts will emphasize that the separation of church and state was never written into the Constitution. Is that not right? The First Amendment prohibits Congress from establishing a national religion. But, in 1776, nine of the 13 colonies had state religions established in their constitutions. Thomas Jefferson’s words about a “separation of church and state” were not written until 1802, when he responded to a letter from the Danbury Baptist Association. Not until after World War II did the Supreme Court begin the systematic purge of Christianity from American public life...more

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Meaning of the Tea Party

What are the questions about the Tea Party movement that remain open for debate? Those would include...everything else. Depending on which analyst you favor, the movement is either "part of a very big wave" or already starting to burn itself out. The Tea Party activists are either reviving the nation's founding principles, or the anti-intellectualism, extremism, and paranoia said to be constantly latent in American politics. Its members are either the direct descendants of the Ross Perot voters from the 1992 presidential campaign, or have little in common with them. It is a spontaneous grassroots phenomenon, or an example of political "Astroturf." It poses grave dangers for the Republican Party, or is the GOP's salvation. The Tea Party movement has lost interest in the culture wars and social issues that energized conservative politics for the past 45 years, or is composed of people who haven't yielded an inch on those questions...The Tea Party mission can be described in another way. What's at stake in the war conservatives have declared on Obamacare is not only 18% of our economy, but 100% of our polity. If the anger over what the Democrats enacted, and the way they passed it, is replaced by acquiescence, America will have taken a big step toward having not only policies but political processes that are indistinguishable from Europe's. If the people who brought you Obamacare are not rebuked in the elections of 2010 and 2012, they, emboldened, will pursue further social transformations, regardless of popular opposition. Our ruling elites will eagerly adopt their European counterparts' posture toward the people: You are wrong. We know better. We will do this, and you will like it. To permit Obamacare to stand is to permit such an assertion to go unchallenged, and guarantee that it will become routine. By their passivity, the people will be complicit in their own disempowerment. As Frederick Douglass said in 1857, "Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them."...more

Another tea party split

In February, in the wake of the National Tea Party Convention, a group of tea party leaders got some more attention by launching the National Tea Party Federation, intended to act as one-stop-shopping for movement takes on political issues and controversies. Today, Tea Party Nation -- the group that organized the convention -- left the federation. From the statement: Tea Party Nation has decided to withdraw our membership from the National Tea Party Federation. We believe we are the best people to represent the voice of our membership as we also believe each individual tea party group can best be the voice of their membership. We wish the Federation good luck in their future endeavors and certainly bear them no ill will....more

Tea Party sex scandal: 4 theories on the Nikki Haley affair

Did South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley (R) cheat on her husband with conservative blogger Will Folks? Folks moved the dramatic "he said, she said" story one step further Wednesday, releasing a series of text messages between himself, Haley's campaign manager, and a third man (a blogger who supports Haley's rival) that Folks says back up his story of a 2007 "inappropriate physical relationship." Haley, a Tea Party favorite, unequivocally denies Folks' claim, and her campaign said the text messages, while authentic, were exchanged in the context of "false claims" and only prove that Folks' "overactive imagination has gone into overdrive." Here's four theories on what really happened...more

GOP moves to repeal healthcare law

House Republican leaders introduced a bill Thursday to repeal and replace the sweeping healthcare law adopted in late March. According to Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the measure would repeal the current law and replace it with the alternative the minority party offered to the original healthcare legislation last November. “As unpopular as this healthcare bill is today, it’s at the height of its popularity,” Blunt said. “The more the American people know about it, the more concerns they are going to have, and the more they are going to look at alternatives.” Chances are slim Republicans could get their measure to the floor, given the Democratic majorities in the chamber, but it could make a useful campaign tool for the party. The vote on healthcare reform has become a political issue in a year rife with anti-incumbent sentiment. Tea Party activists opposed the legislation and protested on Capitol Hill during the March vote, shouting, “Kill the bill.”...more

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Note to GOP Leadership: No Compromising With Obama

If we had a parliamentary system of government, Sen. Mitch McConnell would be expected to resign. Yet in the face of grass-roots anger and frustration at business-as-usual in Washington, it is doubtful that GOP leadership even now understands the message. Last week’s defeats were a massive repudiation of GOP leadership. Coming on the heels of Sen. Robert Bennett’s defeat in Utah and the Republican Senatorial Committee’s previous support for Charlie Crist in Florida, and Ken Buck’s endorsement during the Colorado GOP Assembly last weekend, it is clear that many Washington, D.C. GOP leaders are enormously out of touch with the base of the Republican Party — our grass-roots conservatives. Yet GOP leadership still doesn’t appear to get it, despite tricks to convince angry and frustrated voters otherwise...more

Tea party candidate is Nevada hopeful on the rise

Sharron Angle wants to wipe out Social Security, shutter the Education Department and return to the days almost a century ago when the federal income tax was unconstitutional. A tea party conservative testing the limits of anti-government sentiment, she's also the Republican on the rise in an unpredictable race to pick an opponent for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a top Democrat in Washington who's in trouble at home. What's more, she is evidently the Republican whom Reid would like most to run against. Witness a costly television campaign financed by the majority leader's backers to erode the support of the shaky Republican front-runner, Sue Lowden. "I am the tea party," said Angle, a 60-year-old former Nevada lawmaker. With early voting under way for the June 8 primary, Angle has nearly erased Lowden's double-digit lead in recent polls, thanks in part to endorsements from the Tea Party Express and other conservative groups, including the anti-tax Club for Growth. Lowden, a former state senator, has stumbled after she suggested people might barter for health care using chickens and she faced financial questions about the use of a leased bus...more

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tea Party candidate pulls off upset in Idaho

In the latest example of an insurgent campaign besting a candidate backed by the party, state lawmaker Raul Labrador upset Iraq war veteran Vaughn Ward for the Republican nomination in Idaho's 1st Congressional District. With all precincts reporting from Tuesday's election, Labrador had 47.6% of the vote compared to Ward's 38.9%, according to the Idaho Secretary of State. Labrador, who was backed by Tea Party Boise, will now face freshmen Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick in the general election. The non-partisan Cook Political Report lists the race as a toss-up...more

No Consequences for Government Employees Who Charged Massive Shopping Spree to Taxpayers

Twenty one employees of the Federal Protective Service spent more than $100,000 in government funds for clothing and flat-screen TVs, gym memberships and tuition payments, according to a General Services Administration inspector general report, but none has faced disciplinary action. Investigators said the 21 employees hid more than $100,000 worth of "unauthorized" purchases made with government cards in 2003 and 2004 by not logging them into the computer system that processes the agency's financial transactions. A March 2008 report issued by Government Accountability Office estimated that “nearly 41 percent” of purchase card transactions made from July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2006 failed to meet “basic internal control standards.” One cardholder embezzle more than $642,000 over 6 years from the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service firefighting fund “for personal expenditures, such as gambling, car and mortgage payments” but wasn’t caught until a whistleblower turned her in, the GAO report said...more

Report: 40% of NM filers owed no federal income tax

A new report from the Tax Foundation shows 40 percent of New Mexico tax-return filers last season racked up enough credits and deductions to end up owing the government nothing, putting the state at No. 4 for tax liability. The Washington, D.C.-based anti-tax group, in an analysis of Internal Revenue Service data, said Monday that of New Mexico’s nearly 924,000 filers for the 2008 tax year, about 372,000 – or 40 percent – turned up with no liability. That tally didn’t include residents whose income was below a threshold that requires filing a return. Nationwide, 51 million of the 143.5 million filers – or 36 percent – had no liability after counting up deductions and credits, the foundation reported...more

NM seeks to recover losses, fees from iffy deals

New Mexico's State Investment Council plans to hire an outside law firm to pursue the possible recovery of losses from failed investments and questionable fees paid to third-party marketing agents. The council oversees the management of New Mexico's endowment funds valued at about $13 billion. A council subcommittee recommended in March that the attorney general consider bringing a lawsuit to recover damages or losses from investments made because of potential play-to-pay influences. Several council members complained that Attorney General Gary King hadn't acted quickly to bring investment lawsuits. Moise said the decision to hire a law firm was made after consulting with King. A pension scandal in New York has raised questions about New Mexico investments made by the council and a state educational pension fund. The co-founder of a firm that advised the council has pleaded guilty in the New York case and acknowledged that some investment deals in New Mexico were done because of pressure from politically connected individuals. The names of those people have not been disclosed. Federal investigators are looking into New Mexico investments and the use of third-party marketers or placement agents that shared in millions of dollars in fees...more

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tea Party Evolution

The Tea Party movement has become one of the most influential grassroots movements that this nation has ever seen. We have educated others about the anti-American direction that the government is heading, organized against the most powerful leaders of both parties and halted their advancements at the polls. We have fought against unconstitutional nonsense coming out of our town halls, state capitols and Washington D.C. We’ve enjoyed a lot of success and suffered our share of defeats. Win or lose, the Tea Party has become bigger, stronger and wiser. Regardless of the growth and advancement of the movement, we face two major challenges, both of which have the potential to destroy the entire movement. The first is a lack of leadership and a common direction. If a group doesn’t have these, they’re doomed to slowly wither away and lose all momentum and certainly all influence that they’ve earned. Who would make suitable leaders? What direction is the right direction for the Tea Party? With the wide array of individuals and ideals within the movement, this is nearly possible for any one person to define. Certainly smaller government, vast reduction in government spending and the protection of Constitutional liberties are among the most important values for all Tea Party members. The second challenge is a divisive leadership. Given the vast spectrum of beliefs within the group, if leadership isn’t chosen very carefully, it will be very easy to choose leaders who, while inspiring some, may deter others and reduce involvement. This is something that must be handled soon and with caution. If we wait until we absolutely need leaders to find them, finding those who won’t be divisive will be as daunting of a task as convincing Chris Matthews to join us...more

This year, federal pork's not kosher

This month, three members of Congress have been beaten in their bids for re-election – a Republican senator from Utah, a Democratic congressman from West Virginia and a Republican-turned-Democrat senator from Pennsylvania. Their records and their curricula vitae are different. But they all have one thing in common: They are members of an appropriations committee. Like most appropriators, they have based much of their careers on bringing money to their states and districts. There is an old saying on Capitol Hill that there are three parties – Democrats, Republicans and appropriators. One reason that it has been hard to hold down government spending is that appropriators of both parties have an institutional and political interest in spending. Their defeats are an indication that spending is not popular this year. So is the decision, shocking to many Democrats, of House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey to retire after a career of 41 years. Obey maintains that the vigorous campaign of a young Republican in his district didn't prompt his decision. But his retirement is evidence that, suddenly this year, pork is not kosher...more

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Green Jobs Myth

A Spanish economics professor said attempts by his country to create a green economy would fail. Now a Spanish government report confirms his findings, blunting claims that the professor's report was biased. The professor, Gabriel Calzada Alvarez of Juan Carlos University in Madrid, produced a 41-page study last year on the European experiment of going full bore on the conservation front. He found that "the Spanish/EU-style 'green jobs' agenda now being promoted in the U.S. in fact destroys jobs." For every green job created by the Spanish government, Alvarez found that 2.2 jobs were destroyed elsewhere in the economy because resources were directed politically and not rationally, as in a market economy. But inconveniently for the eco-conscious, his results have been backed up by Carlo Stagnaro and Luciano Lavecchia, a couple of researchers from the Italian think tank Istituto Bruno Leoni. They found that in Italy, the losses were worse than they were in Spain: Each green job cost 6.9 jobs in the industrial sector and 4.8 jobs across the entire economy. Even more inconvenient for the environmental left is a study by the Spanish government. This leaked document supports the Alvarez report. The green lobby can't claim bias in this analysis because the Zapatero administration that compiled it is a socialist government that sees windmills when more rational people see dragons...more

What do you get if you cross a car salesman with a politician?

Enough Money

One of the many shallow statements that sound good — if you don't stop and think about it — is that "at some point, you have made enough money." The key word in this statement, made by President Barack Obama recently, is "you." There is nothing wrong with my deciding how much money is enough for me or your deciding how much money is enough for you, but when politicians think that they should be deciding how much money is enough for other people, that is starting down a very slippery slope. Politicians with the power to determine each citizen's income are no longer public servants. They are public masters...more

Friday, May 21, 2010

Paul's Civil-Rights Remarks Ignite Row

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 unexpectedly became a focus of the midterm elections Thursday as tea-party favorite Rand Paul criticized the federal role in desegregating private businesses, then later said he would have voted for the law. Mr. Paul, the Republican Party's newly elected Senate nominee in Kentucky, has built his campaign around limiting the reach of the federal government. Pressed in two interviews on Wednesday—the first day of his general-election campaign for the Senate—Mr. Paul declined to say that he would have voted as a senator for the landmark civil-rights law. "I'm opposed to any form of governmental racism or discrimination or segregation," he told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. But he said the question of imposing standards on private businesses was "still a valid discussion." "The thing is, is if we want to harbor in on private businesses and their policies, then you have to have the discussion about [whether] you want to abridge the First Amendment as well," he said. His comments prompted a day of discomfort for GOP leaders, just before the Senate's senior Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, Ky.), was scheduled to stand with Mr. Paul at a unity rally Saturday in Kentucky. The statements also underscored the challenge for the national GOP of absorbing insurgent, anti-establishment candidates such as Mr. Paul, who have tapped into the energy of the tea-party movement and other frustrated conservatives...more

Jim DeMint: I’m going to talk to Rand Paul about his positions

Two clips below for your edification, one the much buzzed about exchange last night between Paul and Rachel Maddow (Dave Weigel has the full transcript) and the other his walkback this morning on Laura Ingraham’s show, in which he served up some red meat about the “loony left” and gave the time-for-this-to-go-away answer that, yes indeed, he supports the Civil Rights Act. What this means to his libertarian fan club, I don’t know. Presumably it’ll be shrugged off, either on grounds that he secretly opposes the law but has to make certain concessions to get elected (see, e.g., Obama and gay marriage) or that it’s a non-issue compared to cutting spending, rolling back ObamaCare, ending the Fed, screaming against about the gold standard, etc. I’m actually surprised that he backed off, as the whole Paul phenomenon is based on the idea of principled, uncompromising libertarianism...more

Ron Paul responds to Rand controversy

“Nasty” and “mean” is how Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, described the media’s line of questioning used on his son, GOP Senate candidate Rand Paul, regarding the 1964 Civil Rights act. Rand Paul has given several interviews in recent days suggesting that he would not necessarily have supported applying the civil rights law to private property. Rand Paul has a Libertarian streak, as does his father, who told the Examiner Thursday that he is also a strong believer in private property rights but would not say whether he believed the civil rights law infringed on those rights. Ron Paul, who ran for president in 2008, said the various interviews about the civil rights law were designed to do damage to his son’s image. “I think it’s contrived because he has done so well and the left has to knock him down,” the elder Paul said, adding that the civil rights law, “was not part of the campaign, they had to search for this.” The candidate’s father seemed quite frustrated with this latest development in his son’s fast-rising political career and said Rand Paul’s views are simply “a different opinion on how you handle private property rights.”The candidate’s father seemed quite frustrated with this latest development in his son’s fast-rising political career and said Rand Paul’s views are simply “a different opinion on how you handle private property rights.” He continued: “Politics can sometimes be pretty nasty and I think there is a lot of resentment because all of a sudden he became a star and this offended a lot of people and it was orchestrated that we’ve got to knock him down a peg. We don’t want people believing in liberty, believing in the market and property rights. Oh no, we can’t do that. So, this is the result of that.”...more

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Landslide Rand

Paul united his father's national army of libertarian followers, who became his avid fundraising base, with a much larger group of rank-and-file conservatives who were ready for someone who would fight for limited government. It was a union of Ron Paul Republicans and Rush Limbaugh Republicans. In April, an exit poll taken at the Tea Party protest at the National Mall showed the demonstrators' favorite politicians were Sarah Palin and Ron Paul. Rand Paul, with his focus on the size of government, unified both wings of the Tea Party movement. "Grayson wanted this primary to be about national security because that's where they thought they had the best opposition research," Louisville Republican strategist Scott Jennings told Politico. "But this race was about spending and fiscal issues from the beginning, and Grayson's lack of focus on that cost him early momentum which he never regained." Paul's enemies in the GOP still hope to count him out come November. The early polling data suggests they should pack a lunch. "I have a message, a message from the tea party, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: We have come to take our government back," he said in his victory speech. "What I say to Washington is, 'Watch out, here we come.'"...more

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rand Paul's victory also a win for Tea Party

Rand Paul, a first-time political candidate and beloved figure among Tea Party activists, captured the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky on Tuesday. Paul's triumph represents the biggest victory of the 2010 election season for the Tea Party movement, which joined forces with supporters of Paul's father, former presidential candidate Ron Paul, to overwhelm Grayson and his backers in the state's GOP establishment. The primary result levied a blow to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who tapped Grayson for the party nomination last year before Paul emerged and rode a populist wave to the front of the polls. McConnell and his influential political operation appeared powerless against the anti-establishment fervor sweeping Kentucky's Republican primary electorate. The contentious GOP campaign divided the party between mainline Republicans anxious about Paul's viability in November and grassroots conservatives furious with the Obama administration's fiscal record. Paul has campaigned on a message of vastly scaling back the size of government, calling for an end to government earmarks and the closure of the departments of Education and Agriculture. He has promised not to alter his uncompromising views in the general election...more

Read The Fine Print

Various parts of the Democrats' health care reform law have been held up as pieces that might not stand up to a constitutional rigor. The individual mandate that requires those who aren't previously covered by insurance to buy a plan is the most likely place for the legal objections to begin. Another provision that is being disputed at the constitutional level is the expansion of Medicaid that forces states to increase their spending on that program. But those are only two pieces of a legislative leviathan. Even if one or both were stricken, the bulk of the law's burden would remain. However, Greg Scandlen, a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, says due to a little-known legal concept the entire law would unravel if a single part was found to be outside the Constitution. "Apparently there was no 'severability' clause written into this law, which shows how amateurish the process was," he wrote. "Virtually every bill I've ever read includes a provision that if any part of the law is ruled unconstitutional the rest of the law will remain intact. Not this one. That will likely mean that the entire law will be thrown out if a part of it is found to violate the Constitution." No argument from us. The bill writers and lawmakers who voted for it without reading it were unprofessional. That was obvious in the haste in which the 2,400 pages of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act were passed and signed into law...more

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Primary Tuesday: Calculating the Tea Party Effect

On Tuesday, primaries in Kentucky, Arkansas and Pennsylvania will test a number of theories propagated by pundits and political strategists in recent months. Will Tea Party enthusiasm translate into votes? Will the Democrats and Republicans become more ideologically pure, or will voters tilt both parties to the right? What does this all portend for the midterm elections? Here's what to watch for on Tuesday...more

Kentucky GOP candidates campaign as Tea Party impact is weighed

The two top Republicans vying for the Senate GOP nomination will be barnstorming the state Monday looking for a last minute boost of support and jostling over everything from farm subsidies and the future of coal to whether the state should continue to receive congressional earmarks. But one of the key questions for those in the state, as well as the national observers looking at this primary, is what impact will the anti-tax, anti-Washington Tea Party movement have on this race? Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist and first-time political candidate, has drawn a large amount of support from Tea Party activists in the state that has helped propel him into the lead, according to recent Louisville Courier-Journal/WHAS Bluegrass Polls. “If we win, it will be a huge election for the Tea Party movement around the country,” Paul said in an interview with CNN at a drive-in diner in Lexington. “Everywhere I have gone around Kentucky, the largest events I have been, have been Tea Party movements. I think it is not just about the heart and soul of the Republican Party, but really what direction the country takes.”...more

A Political Insurrection Has Begun

On Saturday, May 8, an extraordinary event took place. United States Senator Bob Bennett, a 3-term Republican, failed to make the cut for his party's primary. Not only was he not nominated to run, he did not make the cut to get nominated. He was a distant third. Two Tea Party candidates beat him. Bob Bennett is a legacy Senator. His father served as Senator before him. This was an insurrection...more

Monday, May 17, 2010

Elena Kagan needs to be asked: Are there any constitutional limits on government anymore?

It's unfortunate that we critique Supreme Court nominees today in ideological or political terms, because the Court is the nonpolitical branch of government. Justices are supposed to apply the law to cases before them--to call balls and strikes impartially, as then-Judge Roberts put it--not decide cases according to liberal, conservative or any other political values. Yet ever since liberals viciously attacked Robert Bork in 1987, that's the way we've judged nominees. The reason is simple: In large measure, we no longer live under the Constitution. Instead, after turn-of-the-century Progressives came to power during the New Deal, the Court began reading the document not as a limit on government but as a font of endless government powers and programs. But those programs would eventually have to be adjudicated in the courts, which meant judges would ultimately rule over vast areas of life that the Constitution had left either to the political branches or to private ordering under the common law. And since much of that adjudication would require judges to make not legal but value judgments, it would be important to know just what values they would bring to the court. Thus has politics trumped law, and a Constitution of limited government been turned on its head. And so we ask now, "What are Elena Kagan's values?"--although the question will be couched in the more neutral-sounding "What is her conception of the law?"...more

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tea Party Backed Republican Surges in Nevada Senate Race

A new Mason-Dixon poll shows the GOP Senate race in Nevada has been turned on it’s head as the Tea Party-backed Conservative Republican, Sharron Angle, is now neck-and-neck with frontrunner Sue Lowden. The Tea Party Express has now spent more than $300,000 in a TV, radio, print advertising and online blitz supporting Conservative Republican Sharron Angle’s U.S. Senate bid for the seat currently held by Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid. “Sharron Angle has the momentum in this race, with early voting beginning in just 8 days,” said Joe Wierzbicki, Coordinator for the Tea Party Express...more

The Las Vegas Review Journal report on the new poll can be found here.

US drug war has met none of its goals

After 40 years, the United States' war on drugs has cost $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives, and for what? Drug use is rampant and violence even more brutal and widespread. Even U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske concedes the strategy hasn't worked. "In the grand scheme, it has not been successful," Kerlikowske told The Associated Press. "Forty years later, the concern about drugs and drug problems is, if anything, magnified, intensified."...more

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Redistributing Health?

The administration's nominee to run Medicare and Medicaid is a fan of Britain's National Health Service and rationing services. He believes in less discretion for your doctor, more power for your government. 'The decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open" is what Dr. Donald Berwick, President Obama's nominee to head the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, said in an interview published in Biotechnology Healthcare in June 2009. The question is whether the Senate will confirm Berwick with open eyes...more

Friday, May 14, 2010

Non-partisan Tea Party - liberals' worst nightmare

A Tea Party leader says the recent defeat of Utah Senator Robert Bennett demonstrates that the American people are moving in a conservative direction where party affiliation no longer matters. Earlier this week, 14-term Democratic Congressman Alan Mollohan was soundly defeated by a far more conservative Democrat in the party primary. In Utah, three-term Republican Senator Robert Bennett was rejected at the recent state GOP convention, and two candidates, who are considered more conservative, will square off in a GOP primary to determine a Republican nominee for November. Dale Robertson ( Robertson, a former Marine and founder of, says voters are clearly unhappy with what has been going on in Washington with incumbents from both parties. The former Marine believes the Tea Party movement has made candidates more accountable to ordinary Americans and less accountable to special interests. The Tea Party leader suggests that conservatives unite with an individual candidate who represents the conservative values of their local community, regardless of party affiliation...more

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tea Party asks AG King to sue government; TV 4 video report

Members of New Mexico's Tea Party groups met with Attorney General Gary King Wednesday in hopes that the state will file suit to prevent the heath care reform bill from going into effect. 21 other states have filed suits against the health care bill on constitutional grounds. "While we believe there needs to be health care reform, this bill will burden the State of New Mexico with unfunded mandates and, in our opinion, violates the Constitution—specifically as it relates to State's rights," Chair of the Santa Fe Tea Party Sheryl Bohlander said. Several speakers including former congresswoman Heather Wilson addressed supporters after the meeting...more

In Bringing Down Bob Bennett, Club for Growth Proves a Real 'Power Player'

A few months ago, Chris Wallace of "Fox News Sunday" featured Club for Growth President Chris Chocola as a "Power Player of the Week." Last week, that status was confirmed. Thanks in large part to the Club for Growth -- a powerful, free market, pro-growth conservative organization -- on Saturday an incumbent Republican senator whose name had never been linked to scandal was simply denied his party's nomination. The ouster of Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah "marks the first time the Club's PAC has defeated an incumbent Republican senator," Chocola wrote in an e-mail to supporters. "It will set off a political earthquake in Congress." You could hardly blame him for crowing: The Club began attacking Bennett in TV ads many months ago. In Florida. the Club for Growth was an early backer of Marco Rubio's primary challenge of Gov. Charlie Crist, a campaign that drove Crist out of the Republican primary and out of the Republican Party altogether...more

Kerry's Powerless America Act

Call it cap-and-trade or bait-and-switch, but John Kerry and Joe Lieberman continue to tilt at windmills with a bill to restrain energy growth in the name of saving the planet...

Check out the chart of 60 new programs, studies and reports in this bill by going here.

So Much For ObamaCare's Savings

As noted on these pages and elsewhere, government programs always cost far more than their original projections. Medicare has cost more than 10 times as much as initially estimated. It took Medicaid, the government's other mammoth health care program, a mere five years to spend twice as much as early estimates said it would. At the state level, the story remains the same. Maine's 2003 program to cover the uninsured has already cost taxpayers there $150 million, but it was sold as a plan that would save them money. Tennessee's arrangement became such a parasite — eating up 40% of the state's budget by 2008 — that it had to be shut down. Massachusetts' program overran cost projections so sharply it had to throw 30,000 beneficiaries off the rolls last year. Despite this clear history, lawmakers always promise the next program won't cost taxpayers — or that it'll save them money...more

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Conservatives try to corral Tea Partiers in opposition to Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination

Will Tea Party activists — who have a keen interest in protecting the Constitution, but are mostly focused on ousting incumbents in midterm elections — sign up for the fight against Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court? “We’re gonna be hitting it hard,” said Judson Phillips, a lawyer who leads the Tea Party Nation organization. The leader said he plans to author a mass e-mail later Monday to members of the group stressing the importance of protesting Kagan’s nomination. President Obama nominated Kagan, the government’s solicitor general, to the high court during a White House ceremony Monday. Phillips said he also plans to work on getting other Tea Party groups involved “to see if we can stop this nomination.” He said activists should be willing — not just to oppose Kagan — but “any nominee who comes through” from Obama “even if that means for the next two years, we only have eight justices.” “As far left as Obama is, he wants someone on the court as liberal as he is,” Phillips said...more

I thought premiums were supposed to go down under ObamaCare

Not so, according to the AP.

Going up almost 1% in 2012 due to the new young adult coverage.

That is just the beginning. According to the Heritage Foundation:
More is coming; health insurance premiums will rise from Obamacare’s new taxes on drugs, medical devices and new insurance fees, plus new insurance rating rules and the yet to be determined health benefit levels that the imperial Feds say must be included an acceptable health insurance plan. That will all be revealed in the fullness of time.

Ain't it lovely.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

AP Casts Sen. Jim DeMint As ‘Conservative Kingmaker’

Jim DeMint is becoming something of a tea party hero, even a potential conservative kingmaker, a status that is not making the freshman senator many friends among fellow Republicans in Congress. A backbencher known for his eagerness to challenge the Republican establishment, DeMint is becoming one of the most influential voices of the conservative rebellion that's shaking up GOP primaries. Tapping an anti-incumbent fervor, the South Carolina lawmaker is a coveted -- and feared -- endorsement, funneling money and grass-roots energy to long-shot candidates who threaten Washington's GOP favorites. His efforts, highly unusual for a freshman, have upset senators on Capitol Hill, where he's viewed by many as an ideologue willing to purge centrist veterans. "I feel a sense of urgency that some of my colleagues don't," he said in an interview. "The Republican Party, at least a segment of it within Washington, has increasingly joined the big-government, big-spending, earmarking ranks."...more

World Health Organization Moving Ahead on Billions in Internet and Other Taxes

The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations' public health arm, is moving full speed ahead with a controversial plan to impose global consumer taxes on such things as Internet activity and everyday financial transactions like paying bills online — while its spending soars and its own financial house is in disarray. The aim of its taxing plans is to raise "tens of billions" of dollars for WHO that would be used to radically reorganize the research, development, production and distribution of medicines around the world, with greater emphasis on drugs for communicable diseases in poor countries. The irony is that the WHO push to take a huge bite out of global consumers comes as the organization is having a management crisis of its own, juggling finances, failing to use its current resources efficiently, or keep its costs under control — and it doesn't expect to show positive results in managing those challenges until a year from now, at the earliest...more

Monday, May 10, 2010


When the federal government plays mad scientist, it doesn't destroy the monster it realizes it's built. Instead, after wreaking global economic havoc, Fannie Mae gets the taxpayers' blank check. The Federal National Mortgage Association, "Fannie Mae," a mutant hybrid with the worst features of government agency and private business, holds about $6 trillion in mortgages. Now it wants another $8.4 billion in cash. More largesse for Fannie and its equally evil twin, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., "Freddie Mac," is like emptying a dump truck full of taxpayer cash down a bottomless pit. In its 12th straight quarterly loss, the mortgage behemoth consumed $11.5 billion in this year's first quarter. That's an improvement: A year ago, Fannie lost twice as much. Why would American taxpayers pay billions to keep these monsters alive?...more

Sen. Shelby: Financial Reform Violates Privacy

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), senior Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said that provisions in the new financial regulatory bill violate privacy rights by allowing the government to collect any financial information it wants from any financial institution it wants. “The Democrats’ new bureaucracy poses a threat to our privacy,” Shelby said, “Under section 1022 of their bill, the new bureau would collect any information it chooses from businesses and consumers including personal characteristics and financial information. “Individuals could be required to provide the new agency with written answers--under oath--to any question posed by the bureau regarding their personal financial information.”...more

California: The American Greece

What do Europe's most bankrupt nation-state and America's most bankrupt united state have in common, aside from being bankrupt? In what is undoubtedly a coincidence noticed only by free-market fundamentalists, it turns out that Greece, that sun-drenched paradise on the Aegean, and California, that sun-warmed El Dorado on the Pacific, are the worst places to do business in their respective economic zones. Greece manages to drive out business activity with a vengeance rarely seen in Europe. In the World Bank's Doing Business 2010 [pdf] survey, Greece came in 109th place worldwide, sandwiched between countries on the go Lebanon and Guatemala. That lands the cradle of democracy dead last in the European Union for business friendliness...more

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tea party movement ousts Sen. Bob Bennett in Utah

The “tea party” movement has carved a major notch in its political pistol grip. At the GOP nominating convention in Salt Lake City Saturday, Sen. Bob Bennett (R) of Utah came in a distant third behind two other Republican candidates vying for the Senate seat Mr. Bennett has held for three terms. Bennett is generally considered to be conservative – he favors gun rights and tighter immigration controls, and he has a lifetime rating of 84 percent from the American Conservative Union. But he was targeted by tea partyers for his 2008 vote in favor of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bank bailout. Bennett also had co-sponsored a bipartisan bill to mandate health insurance coverage (although he eventually voted against the health care reform bill President Obama signed)...more

GOP starts cleaning house in Utah

Is the GOP starting to remember its roots and recover the principles the party once stood for under Ronald Reagan? If the recent ousting of US Senator Bob Bennett in Utah is any indication, the answer is a resounding yes. For Utah Republicans, it seems Bennett’s vote for the Wall Street bailout and his support for a bill that would mandate health insurance were too egregious to send the Senator back to Washington to represent the state. Bennett also voted for Medicare Part D, the prescription drug entitlement, and is notorious for earmarking. The Utah GOP made the right decision to send him packing. Bennet’s ousting demonstrates an energized, limited-government conservative movement that has not existed since Ronald Reagan led the party. With help from tea party activists, conservative principles are becoming en vogue again. Of course, thanks should also be bestowed on President Obama for advancing such overtly leftist policies most Americans right find abhorrent; his agenda has reignited the liberty movement’s flame. The GOP has the opportunity, this election cycle, to restore credibility with the American people by fielding candidates who oppose the rapid, unfettered expansion of government and promote liberty-minded policies aimed at reforming decades of broken government programs and processes, and most importantly, drain the trough of benefits and entitlements that special interest feed from...more

DeMint Declares for Paul

Few were surprised this week when Jim DeMint endorsed Rand Paul in his bid for US Senate in Kentucky. That the man many consider the most conservative member of the Senate endorsed the son of the man many consider the most conservative member of Congress is indicative of DeMint’s genuine commitment to what most consider traditional Republican principles. Likewise, that GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell so vehemently opposes Paul and has so enthusiastically endorsed his opponent is indicative of his commitment to the Republican status quo-at the expense of genuine conservatism. Rand Paul has gone from relative obscurity to a serious contender for the US Senate because he has articulated a sound, common sense conservative message at an uncommon time. There is a genuine, rising fear about runaway spending and debt today, and whereas Republicans in the past have been able to convince voters they loved guns or loathed gays enough for constituents to ignore their big government records, the current Tea Party-influenced political environment seems to be, finally, a rejection of that never-ending cycle. The Tea Party folks in Kentucky and those who sympathize with them, see supporting Paul as a chance to tell Washington they’re not going to take it anymore. The problem is the Republican establishment wants these voters to keep taking it...more

The ‘Tea Party’ of the 1930s

The past year’s tea party movement is not the first popular uprising against an overtaxing, encroaching, economy-stifling government. Though its past version seems not to have involved much in the way of street demonstrations, it may have been even stronger than the modern phenomenon, at least so far. As noted later, it will be difficult to exceed its electoral performance. No less a luminary that Michael Barone rediscovered this largely forgotten history while creating his latest book, Our Country: The Shaping of America from Roosevelt to Reagan. Barone, correctly described as “one of the most learned political observers of our time,” was the first person to characterize the Obama administration’s modus operandi as “Gangster Government” when he wrote in May of last year about how it bullied and shortchanged disfavored secured creditors during Chrysler’s bankruptcy proceedings. Visits to various items published during 1937 and 1938 reveal that the anti-New Deal sentiment Barone learned of had legs — and impact. President Obama’s stimulus bill passed in February of last year is what ignited an initial storm of protest that has been followed by a growing wave of political activism. In 1937, the equivalent spark was newly reelected President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s February 1937 proposal, buttressed by a March fireside chat, to pack the Supreme Court with six additional justices friendly to the New Deal’s statism and hostile to the original intent of the Constitution. The fighting words from his address were these: “We have, therefore, reached the point as a nation where we must take action to save the Constitution from the Court and the Court from itself.” He didn’t lack nerve, did he? It wasn’t long before it became obvious that FDR had vastly overplayed his hand, as Obama would do 72 years later...more

Saturday, May 8, 2010

“Woodstock” of tea parties planned Sept. 11 in western Iowa

An event described as the “Woodstock” of tea parties is planned for Sept. 11 at the Monona County Fairgrounds in Onawa in western Iowa. Craig Halverson of Griswold, who is helping to organize the event, said supporters hope to attract at least 1,000 people from Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and other states. He said they are inviting prominent conservative speakers and plan to have bands perform patriotic music. The event will have a “Take back our country” theme, Halverson said. Although the activities will occur on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, he said organizers don’t plan to spend the day reflecting on those events. [link]

Health care law's massive, hidden tax change

An all-but-overlooked provision of the health reform law is threatening to swamp U.S. businesses with a flood of new tax paperwork. Section 9006 of the health care bill -- just a few lines buried in the 2,409-page document -- mandates that beginning in 2012 all companies will have to issue 1099 tax forms not just to contract workers but to any individual or corporation from which they buy more than $600 in goods or services in a tax year. The stealth change radically alters the nature of 1099s and means businesses will have to issue millions of new tax documents each year...more

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tea Party Founder Named Most Influential - Video

The latest issue of "Time" magazine highlights the 100 most influential people. On that list is Georgian, Jenny Beth Martin, who is one of the founders of the Tea Party Patriots. On Wednesday, Martin discussed the movement, which claims 15 million members. Martin says the organization is critical of members of both parties. Eric Gray, the communication Director for the Democratic Party of Georgia voiced his concerns about the Tea Party movement in Georgia.

See video report here.

Dodd Financial Bill Creates ACORN for Risky Credit Applicants

Nearly every page of Senator Dodd’s 1400 page financial regulation bill, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, aims to increase the scope of government. This long and complex legislation proposes new agencies, new divisions within old agencies, and a slew of other ways to expand the government’s reach. One overlooked portion of the financial regulation bill is Section. 1013. Contained within Section 1013 ((b)(2)), on page 1213, is a segment titled Community Affairs. In 33 words, Senator Dodd’s bill looks to replicate ACORN’s practices: “The Director shall establish a unit whose functions shall include providing information, guidance, and technical assistance regarding the offering and provision of consumer financial products or services to traditionally underserved consumers and communities.” ACORN, on its website, describes itself using similar language: “ACORN is the nation’s largest grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people... ACORN has been building community organizations that are committed to social and economic justice, and won victories on thousands of issues of concern to our members, through direct action, negotiation, legislative advocacy and voter participation.” Although ACORN’s website uses more obvious language, the goals of both the would-be Community Affairs department and ACORN are the same: force the government to provide loans to people who otherwise wouldn’t qualify for it...more

Thursday, May 6, 2010

ObamaCare: According To Plan?

When Richard Foster, chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, issued a report last month on the financial effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, attention was fixed on his spending estimates, and rightly so: Overall health care spending would grow by $311 billion from 2010 to 2019 due to the Democrats' reform, while federal spending would rise by $211 billion over that same time. These figures are germane because health care reform was sold as the policy that would cut spending and bring down the deficit. President Obama promised the overhaul wouldn't add "one dime" to the deficit, which is probably that same dime he said he wouldn't raise taxes by on families earning less than $250,000 a year. Obama also promised that "nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have." And "if you like your health care plan," he said more than once, "you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period." Strictly speaking, that's correct. But left unsaid was the fact that lawmakers placed provisions in the law that will give companies incentives to drop workers from employer-sponsored medical plans. "Some smaller employers would be inclined to terminate their existing coverage, and companies with low average salaries might find it to their — and their employees' — advantage to end their plans," Foster wrote in his April 22 report. The actuary estimates that the law "would collectively reduce the number of people with employer-sponsored health coverage by about 14 million."...more

GOP showing in primaries revives talk about Tea Party viability

Mark the first round down, shakily, for Republican incumbents and party favorites. With one race in Ohio yet to be settled, Tea Party movement-backed challengers and other outsiders were shut out in competitive House and Senate primaries in three states Tuesday. While some Republican primary winners struggled — former Indiana senator Dan Coats’s comeback bid advanced with 40 percent of the vote in a five-way race — the results renewed a debate about the clout of the insurgents in the remaining primaries and on fall elections. Six months before the midterm elections, polls show a disaffected electorate. As a result, even Democrats concede Republicans are in line to make gains. “The big question is whether the Tea Party is a tempest in a teapot. Do they have the organizational capabilities to compete with the Republicans?’’ said John Feehery, a Republican strategist...more

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"Find Us Before We Find You"

Orwellian tax collection commercial.

Florida candidate becomes first officeholder with Tea Party affiliation

Polk County Commissioner Randy Wilkinson may be the first official officeholder from the Tea Party. Wilkinson, running for Florida’s 12th District seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Adam Putnam, switched his party affiliation from Republican to Florida Tea Party last week. He is a county commissioner in Florida’s Polk County. “We’re excited,” said Fred O’Neal, founder of the Florida Tea Party. “Our first officeholder. We’re excited.” Of course, there are other self-identified Tea Party candidates across the country running as Republicans or independents, but Wilkinson appears to be the first elected official running on a Tea Party ticket affiliation. Wilkinson will face the Republican and Democrat candidates for the seat in November. According to a local Florida paper, Wilkinson was elected to the Polk County Commission as a Republican. But on campaign documents filed to run for Congress, he said he is now a member of the Florida Tea Party and is not registered with any other party...more

Democrats resist plan for border security bill

Despite mounting pressures for more border security in the wake of Arizona's illegal-immigration crackdown, lawmakers have no intention of tackling the problem at the federal level with legislation focused solely on border security. Instead, the Democratic majority in the House and Senate plan to attempt a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would create a pathway to citizenship for the millions who are here illegally. The sheer size and scope of such a measure virtually guarantees it cannot be passed this year, especially with the midterm elections approaching. This leaves Arizona and the other southwestern border states on their own in dealing with the escalating problem. Democrats know if they meet Republican demands for a narrow bill focused on border security, the chances of ever passing a citizenship program for illegals on its own will be greatly reduced...more

Monday, May 3, 2010

Look who Obama is nominating as judges

Hans Bader writes:

President Obama has nominated the controversialJudge Robert Chatigny to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Chatigny unsuccessfully attempted to block the execution of serial murderer and rapist Michael Ross, the “Roadside Strangler,” saying that his “sexual sadism” should be a mitigating factor barring his execution — even though Ross himself did not claim that his death-sentence was in any way inappropriate. Yet Democrats and even a few Republicans are likely to vote to confirm Chatigny.

Obama has also nominated the radical lawyer Goodwin Liu to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Liu is hostile to “’free enterprise, private ownership of property, and limited government.’ According to Liu, these are ‘code words for an ideological agenda hostile to environmental, workplace, and consumer protections.’” Liu also believes in “a constitutional right to welfare.“ Liu is also a big user of politically-correct psychobabble, writing that a judge is supposed to be a “culturally situated interpreter of social meaning” rather than an impartial umpire who interprets the law in accord with its plain meaning or its framers’ intent.

Bar association standards say lawyers are supposed to have practiced law for at least 12 years before being nominated to a judgeship, and should also have “substantial courtroom and trial experience.“ Liu has no trial experience, and had not even been out of law school for 12 years at the time he was nominated, meaning he was by definition unqualified under ABA standards. But a liberal ABA committee, showing ideological bias, rubberstamped his nomination anyway, ignoring his lack of the required qualifications, since its members shared his extreme political views...

Auto bill draft would require black boxes, "vehicle safety user fees"

All new cars would have to be equipped with "black boxes" that record performance data and federal safety regulators would be granted the authority to order immediate recalls under newly proposed auto-safety legislation being considered by Congress. The draft contains a wide array of provisions. Some require new safety features, such as the black boxes -- called event data recorders -- and brake override systems that allow a driver to stop a car even when the throttle is stuck open. Other elements of the bill give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration more power to crack down on automakers that break the rules. The bill would create a "vehicle safety user fee," to be paid by manufacturers on each vehicle. The money would supplement NHTSA's budget. The fee begins at $3 per vehicle and increases to $9 after three years...more

It’s a sad day for Happy Meals in Santa Clara County

The governing body of Santa Clara County (in Ca. of course) has voted to ban all toys in Happy Meals.

Why? Is it because the little tikes will choke on the toys? Are they filled with lead or some other dangerous substance?

No, no. The LA Times enlightens us:

"This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children's' love of toys" to sell high-calorie, unhealthful food, said Supervisor Ken Yeager, who sponsored the measure.

If it wasn't for the toys all the children would be eating organic salads don't you see.

I sure wish they would quit putting toys in my Copenhagen.

Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Say the Stimulus Isn’t Working

Nearly two-thirds of Americans do not believe the $787 billion stimulus package the president passed last year has helped create jobs, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.” As the Washington Examiner notes, “a recent survey of business economists showed they didn’t think the stimulus was creating jobs, either.” President Obama falsely claimed that virtually all economists supported his stimulus package, but this was patently untrue at the time he made this claim, when at least 200 economists publicly opposed it, and it is even more untrue now. Obama falsely claimed that the $787 billion stimulus package was needed to prevent “irreversible decline,” but the Congressional Budget Office admitted that it would actually shrink the economy “in the long run”. The stimulus package has since destroyed thousands of jobs in America’s export sector, and subsidized countless examples of government waste and corruption...more

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Advice to the Tea Party from John Samples, author of 'The Struggle to Limit Government'

John Samples is director of the Cato Institute's Center for Representative Government and author of an important new book, "The Struggle to Limit Government," which is a history of the growth of Big Government since the Progressive Era and the so far mostly unsuccessful campaign by conservatives to restore limited government. Samples sat down recently to talk about the Tea Party movement and what its role might be. Among much else, Samples encourages Tea Party leaders to focus their efforts on restoring the federalist system established by the Constitution, with its great emphasis upon the rights and perogatives of the states. "People in the Tea Party movement often say they want the Constitution back," Samples said in the video. "Well, indeed, the Constitution is just the answer to some of the social issue questions. The Constitution of 1789 was about federalism, the states had a very important role to play in American government." That is the key for the Tea Party movement in dealing with what could be a source of disunity and weakness, divering views among potential allies of the movement and among Tea Partiers themselves, according to Samples...more

Tea Party movement likely to have unglamorous but effective future

On April 15, I covered the Cincinnati Tea Party rally for PJTV. It was quite a scene. There were more than 12,000 people in attendance, filling all but the nosebleed seats at the University of Cincinnati's basketball arena, and even though Sean Hannity was a last-minute no-show the crowd was fired up. When speaker Sonja Schmidt dubbed Barack Obama a "one-term president," the crowd roared, and delivered a standing ovation. The Service Employees International Union and Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now were booed, and various Ohio candidates and officeholders who stand for smaller government were cheered. Signs were waved ("Will Work For LIberty") and T-shirts were sold. But although that rally -- and the hundreds like it around the country that day -- was a scene of great excitement, that kind of excitement isn't the future of the Tea Party movement. The future, instead, is something much less glamorous, but much more important, than mass rallies and marches. For an example of what that means, look to the Utah Tea Party's campaign against incumbent Republican Sen. Robert Bennett. Bennett is a Republican, true enough, but his support for bailouts and big government has made him unpopular with Tea Partiers in Utah. They're planning to teach him a lesson...more

Saturday, May 1, 2010


PRESIDENT OBAMA has been caught in a shocking cheating scandal after being caught in a Washington, DC Hotel with a former campaign aide, sources say. And now, a hush-hush security video that shows everything could topple both Obama's presidency and marriage to Michelle! A confidential investigation has learned that Obama first became close to gorgeous 35 year-old VERA BAKER in 2004 when she worked tirelessly to get him elected to the US Senate, raising millions in campaign contributions. While Baker has insisted in the past that "nothing happened" between them, the ENQUIRER has learned that top anti-Obama operatives are offering more than $1 million to witnesses to reveal what they know about the alleged hush-hush affair. Among those being offered money is a limo driver who says that he took Vera to a secret hotel rendezvous where the President was staying...more

This is from The National Enquirer, so we shal see.

What Would Bill Buckley Think of the Tea Party?

Well, what would William F. Buckley Jr., founder of National Review and arguably the pre-eminent intellectual of the modern conservative movement until his 2008 death, say about the tea party movement? Having just published the first biography of Buckley in 22 years, I make bold to offer the following: • He would applaud the tea party's message of "We want government off our backs and out of our pockets." Throughout his life, Buckley firmly resisted governmental aggrandizement. "I will use my power as I see fit," he wrote. "I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth." • Buckley would like the tea party's determination to place principle above party, any party. He and National Review -- the magazine he founded and edited for 35 years -- did not hesitate to criticize both major political parties and their leaders whenever they deserved it. • Buckley would delight in the tea party's willingness to challenge the establishment. In National Review's very first issue, Buckley famously wrote that his magazine "stands athwart history yelling Stop." The growth of government, he said, "must be fought relentlessly."...more

Republicans pick Wall Street over free markets

Republican leaders have proven the Democrats right: The GOP's teeth gnashing about "permanent bailouts" was cynical populist showmanship -- and Republicans can't pull off that act as well as President Obama. By proposing a financial reform bill that is mostly identical to the one proposed by Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., Republicans have passed up an opportunity to simultaneously appeal to their base, by returning to their alleged principles of limited government, and appeal to much of the middle, by waging a populist battle against Wall Street's corporate-welfare queens who panhandle on Capitol Hill. Republicans favoring limited government over a "pro-Wall Street" policy would have been out of character, to be sure, but events were conspiring to make such a free-market populist stance possible. For one thing, the bankers had already abandoned the GOP. Wall Street was even longer on the Democrats in 2008 and 2009 than it had been on mortgage-backed securities in 2005 and 2006. You wouldn't know this reading most newspapers, but Obama raised more money from Wall Street than any candidate in history, and more money from Goldman Sachs than every Republican running for president, House, and Senate, combined...more

Read more at the Washington Examiner: